Webinar: Grassroot climate activism – from Paris to the Amazon

Date, time: 11 June 2020, 15.00-17.00

BSRS2020 “Global Climate Governance Regime” PhD course session/webinar on Grassroot climate activism – from Paris to the Amazon

With Nnimmo Bassey, Julio Prieto, Deborah Delgado, Camila Gianella & Siri Gloppen

Myriad organizations – diverse and spanning the globe – are engaged in climate related activism. Some are transnational in operation and focus, some are national or very local, some combine both the local and the global. The widespread government inertia on climate policy, has made them important – and sometimes quite successful – drivers of climate policy. In this session we discuss climate activists’ strategies, asking: what are the most promising forms of activism, and what makes activists more or less likely to succeed? The webinar will combine activist and academic perspectives.

15:00 – 15:45

We will start with a focus at the international level. What is – and can be – the role of grass root activists and NGOs in relation to norm setting at the global level – and in securing compliance. Nnimmo Bassey will provide some reflections to introduce this first part of the discussion

15:45 – 16:30

The second part of the webinar will move the focus to grass root activists focusing primarily working at the domestic and local level. These are sometimes confronting government and private actors, and sometimes working with the government, for example in deforestation prevention committees. What are the ways in which they contribute to climate governance, and what are the dilemmas they face? Julio Prieto and Deborah Delgado will present some reflections to set off the discussion in the second part of the webinar

16:30 – 17:00

In the last part of the session we will use the insights emerging from the webinar to reflect back on the scholarship on social mobilization: What are the most decisive factors determining whether or not climate activism succeeds? Which forms of activism are most promising? And how should we think about success in this context?


Nnimmo Bassey is a Nigerian environmental activist, architect, author and poet, who chaired Friends of the Earth International from 2008 through 2012[1] and currently Directs the Health of Mother Earth Foundation)

Julio Prieto is an Ecuadorian lawyer, environmental activist and scholar. He was central to the court case against the Chevron where people of Ecuador took the oil company to court over environmental damage.

Deborah Delgado is Professor of Sociology at PUCP (Peru). Her areas of research include global and local environmental politics and sustainable development policies, indigenous social movements, and climate change policies related to forests (REDD).

Camila Gianella is a Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, she is Peruvian, has a PhD in psychology and training in public health and the social sciences. Currently her research focuses on the political economy of natural resource management, including deforestation in the Amazon.

Siri Gloppen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen and director of LawTransform (the CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation). Her main research focus is on the use of law and courts as instruments of social change, including in climate governance and climate activism.